The 5th BRICS+ International Municipal Forum took place in St. Petersburg24.11.2023 Roman Telkov, Nikolay Kuznetsov / Big Asia TV 3268
On 9 and 10 November, the BRICS+ International Municipal Forum was held in Saint Petersburg at the «ExpoForum» Convention and Exhibition Centre. More than 7,000 people attended the Forum, including delegations from 85 Russian regions and invited guests from over 200 foreign cities.
More than 100 events, over 1300 speakers, 210 signed agreements – those were the results of the forum. In addition, chess and rugby-7 tournaments were held as part of the forum.
The Government of Moscow became the general partner of the BRICS+ International Municipal Forum, and the Moscow delegation was headed by Sergei Cheryomin, Minister of the Government of Moscow, Head of the Department for External Economic and International Relations of Moscow and Chairman of the Board of the Business Council for Cooperation with India.
«Moscow has become the general partner of the BRICS+ forum, and this is absolutely logical. We have long-standing relations between the Moscow City Government and the largest megacities of the BRICS countries. First of all, these are the cities of China, India, Brazil and South Africa. It is of great importance for us that 6 more countries have joined, with whose cities Moscow has already established relations and has specific cooperation programmes.
The Forum gathered more than 7 thousand representatives from regions of the Russian Federation and 70 countries of different continents, which shows the demand for contacts between municipalities and major cities. It is essential to exchange experience and best practices. Such cooperation follows the policy of city diplomacy, which is especially important in the context of the existing sanctions.
We have excellent relations with various regions and states of India, first of all with the capital New Delhi. We are planning to sign an agreement with the state of Maharashtra, where the financial center of the country, the city of Mumbai, is located. We are discussing the possibility of establishing contacts and signing cooperation programmes with the states of Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh», – Sergei Cheryomin noted in his interview to «Big Asia» TV channel.
Cooperation between Russia and India became one of the key subjects of the BRICS+ International Municipal Forum. A large Indian delegation attended the event. The representatives of Indian authorities and business circles, who actively participated in the Forum sessions, showed a deep interest in sharing experience and expanding contacts between cities and companies of the BRICS+ countries.
«I’m very happy to be in Saint Petersburg, Anil Agrawal, President of Cosmos Group, shared his impressions of the event, – We came here at the invitation of His Excellency Mr. Sergei Cheryomin, Minister of the Government of Moscow.
BRICS has provided a platform to all the BRIСS nations wherein we are connected socially, politically, economically and people-to-people.
Indian-Russian relationships are centuries old. And they are on very solid ground. Our businesses are growing. We are doing about $50 billion of trade between India and Russia. Well, much of the trade is from Russia’s export of crude oil, fertilizers, diamonds and other minerals to India. And there is a trade plus for Russia towards India, because India is exporting only about $3 billion worth of goods and services.
We are here to expand our businesses, to do mutual connectivity and to see what we can do together in newer technologies, particularly in IT-technology, bio-technology, telecommunications, new energy, and how to create net-zero economies in the world. And we believe that Russia and India have a great future in bringing together the technologies, the businesses and the people», – Anil Agrawal emphasized.
On the Indian part, Purnima Anand, President of the BRICS International Forum, also took part in the Forum. She said that the Forum in St. Petersburg provided a model for other BRICS-led organizations and served as a platform for generating new ideas and making new connections at the municipal level.
«I came from India to connect with the BRICS community of 11 countries. This is a really wonderful program to join and to understand BRICS.
On March 2019 Mr. Cheryomin came to India and he had very good projects for the development of municipality cooperation between Russia and India. That time we discussed these issues in great detail with the participation of delegations from many countries and realized the need for systematic development of inter-city ties within the BRICS framework. And in 2019, in November he organized program in St. Petersburg and it got really very good appreciation. And this municipality connectivity gives new boost to BRICS International Forum of Municipalities. Because it is a unique idea. And in the whole world no international forum addresses the municipality issues.
And Russia is overcoming very strongly. And the BRICS countries, as friends of Russia, supported it. And China came up very strongly and supported Russia. And so did India. But ultimately, the countries that are supporting Russia during the sanctions, the Western countries are putting pressure on them. So, these issues are challenging. And the behavior of the Western countries is not right. And I feel that in all these differences we will be very strongly united. And now it is the best alternative for the turbulent world, because the BRICS economies are always rising», – Purnima Anand, President of the BRICS International Forum, commented on the forum results.
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